Statement by Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park) on Ombudsman’s “Nowhere to Turn” Report

“I want to thank the Ombudsman and his whole team for their work on behalf of adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Adults with developmental disabilities and their families have heard the Liberals make promise after promise that things would get better, even as they face the same old problems. They heard more promises today. This is not the leadership that people were promised, and they are being let down. As the Ombudsman said, “[w]ithout significant additional reform, many uniquely vulnerable people will continue to be lost in the system and experience harm because of inadequate supports and services.”

New Democrats believe in opportunity and security for everyone which is why the Ministry must immediately act on all of the Ombudsman's recommendations, and in particular get rid of waitlists for services.

Fife says Liberal are "stacking the deck" with Bill 201; NDP calls for greater fairness

NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife says Liberal Bill 201 is designed to give significant advantages to the governing party, and the party with the wealthiest donors. New Democrats are tabling a series of amendments to Bill 201 that are focused on levelling the political playing field, and bringing greater fairness to Ontario's election rules.

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath regarding US Steel / Stelco Retiree Benefits Ruling

“People who spent their lives working at US Steel and Stelco deserve the pensions and benefits they were promised. I know many of these retirees myself. They worked hard and they were promised a pension, and benefits that help pay for things like medication or new glasses. The Stelco and US Steel retirees are being treated unfairly, and they’re not getting the help or support they need from the Liberals. The Premier isn’t sticking up for the retirees or their families. People deserve so much better.”

Integrity and secret panels don’t mix: NDP

Ontario NDP Transportation Critic Wayne Gates called on the Liberal government to be transparent and accountable when it comes to the review process for the GTA West Highway project.

“If the government is serious about maintaining the ‘integrity’ of the review process for the GTA West Highway, then it should disclose the names of those providing it advice on the multi-billion dollar project,” said NDP Transportation Critic Wayne Gates today.

“Integrity and secret panels don’t mix. The public has a right to know who is giving the government advice on a highway project where billions of public dollars are at stake,” said Gates, responding to a government spokesperson’s claim that the names of those sitting on an advisory panel needed to be kept secret “in order to protect the integrity of the review.”

Statement by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath: Liberals must resume respectful bargaining with doctors without undue delay

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement urging the Liberal government to resume respectful bargaining with doctors without undue delay.

“The Premier must admit, today, that her Liberal government has broken trust with Ontario’s doctors and the families they serve. The result of this weekend’s vote is just the latest symptom of the growing crisis in health care under this Premier’s watch.

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath regarding OMA vote

"Health care is the silent crisis of this Liberal government and the crisis continues to grow. Today, it’s clear this Premier has broken the trust of Ontario’s doctors. Thousands of doctors and millions of people across the province see that the Liberals are cutting health care and forcing patients to wait longer. The Liberals have broken trust with doctors, fired nurses, and handed pink slips to hospital workers. Cutting health care is no way to build a better future. 

To start to restore respectful bargaining, the government must reconsider binding arbitration for physicians. Doctors should not be forced to use the Courts to decide such an important issue. Doctors in many other provinces have access to binding arbitration and its time has come in Ontario, too. 

Families need health care we can all count on. New Democrats will work closely with doctors to restore trust and build a stronger universal public health care system for our children and the next generation.”

NDP’s Horwath commits to lower hydro bills

Speaking to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath committed to taking immediate steps to lower hydro bills across Ontario. Horwath said upon taking office, an NDP government would take the HST off of hydro bills, immediately lowering bills by 8%, and committed to reducing underlying costs within the first six months.

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on the Resignation of Tim Hudak

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement on the resignation of Tim Hudak.

“On behalf of Ontario’s New Democrats I want to thank Tim Hudak for his many years of public service as a Member of Provincial Parliament. While Tim will be the first to agree that we rarely saw eye to eye on matters of policy, I have nothing but respect for his commitment to his constituents in Niagara West-Glanbrook and to his party during his time as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. Tim earned respect from all sides of the political spectrum for his careful preparation, his sharp wit and his keen sense of humour in the Legislature. Political life is never easy. It takes great personal sacrifice, and makes demands on our families. Tim has earned some well-deserved time with his wife Deb and their young daughters, Miller and Maitland.  We wish him the very best in his future projects.”


Statement by Ontario NDP Leader on Provincial and Demonstration School Announcement

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement in response to the government announcement about Provincial and Demonstration schools.

“When Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals announced they were freezing enrollment to Provincial schools for the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as Demonstration Schools for students with severe learning disabilities, it threw families into chaos. Sadly this wasn’t the first time that Kathleen Wynne thought she could get away with cutting services for the most vulnerable Ontarians. Earlier this year, Kathleen Wynne pushed ahead with increases to seniors’ drug costs and cuts to autism services. New Democrats worked together with concerned Ontarians to stop these cuts. 

The fact that the Premier is backtracking on her short-sighted plan to close Provincial and Demonstration schools is good news for students and their parents. Once again it’s through the hard work and advocacy of families that the government has been forced to change their position. New Democrats are proud to stand with Provincial and Demonstration school families.

Kathleen Wynne must now commit to keeping these schools open in the long term to put parents' minds at ease and she must stop further cuts to special education funding across the province.”

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath statement on Jamaican Independence Day

“On behalf of New Democrats across Ontario, I want to wish Jamaican Canadians across the province a happy Independence Day.

Today we are reminded of the great struggle, and the great sacrifice, of the Jamaican people for justice, freedom and equality. 

Here in the GTA, we can see the social, cultural and economic contributions of Jamaican Canadians to the province, and to the country.

Jamaicans contribute to the economy through small businesses and financial institutions, employing people and providing services to the community.

And we can never forget the contributions of Jamaican nurses to our healthcare sector, and Jamaican teachers who have shaped the next generation of Canadians.

We salute the Jamaican community in Toronto, and the many Jamaican organizations and their commitment to Jamaican people here, and on the island.

Together we will continue the fight for equality and justice, and the fight against anti-black racism in all its forms.

New Democrats believe in creating opportunities for all Ontarians, and we are here to work together to build a province where no one is left behind.

So on behalf of all of Ontario’s New Democrats, I want to wish everyone a happy Jamaican Independence Day.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath responding to Liberal health care re-announcement

“This is a re-announcement of exactly what is in the Budget. It doesn’t do anything new to improve health care and it doesn’t put a single new dollar into addressing the $3.27 billion hospital repair backlog.

Rather than fixing health care, this Liberal Government will say, do, or re-announce anything to try and win the Scarborough-Rouge River by-election. What will they re-announce next? 

New Democrats believe families in Ontario deserve high-quality health care, not more Liberal press releases. Liberal health care decisions have led to hospital overcrowding across Ontario. Ignoring basic maintenance as they have means risks to the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers, buildings that aren’t up to code, or equipment is at risk of ‘Imminent Breakdown.’

Ontarians deserve so much better.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh on the Banning of Childcare Wait List Fees

Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh issued the following statement in response to this morning’s announcement about the banning of childcare wait list fees.

“Finding affordable childcare is hard enough for moms and dads. Asking them to pay hundreds of dollars just to get on a wait list is insulting. This is why NDP MPP Peter Tabuns, at the request of concerned parents, brought forward a Private Members Bill to ban fees just to get on a childcare wait list. I’m glad that after more than a decade in government the Liberals are finally listening to parents on this issue and following the lead of the NDP. This is a step in the right direction, but there is more to do, like creating more affordable childcare spaces so moms and dads don’t face these wait lists in the first place.”

Statement from Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife regarding FAO Annual Report

“This isn’t the first time the FAO has called out the government for keeping facts from his office. Ontario’s independent watchdogs are there to give people the facts and cut through government spin. Kathleen Wynne is refusing to give the Financial Accountability Officer the information he needs to do his job because she’s more interested in protecting the Liberal party and her own reputation, than she is in independent, non-partisan oversight. 

The Liberal government has tried to undermine the Auditor General, they’ve fought with the Ombudsman, and they are refusing to give the FAO the information he needs to do his job.  That’s a pattern. This government has a problem with oversight and with non-partisan watchdogs.

A Premier that’s so focused on keeping secrets clearly isn’t interested in what’s best for Ontario families. This spring, I introduced legislation to ensure the FAO has the information and data they need to do their job. The Financial Accountability Office would have the same right to information as the Auditor General. People deserve so much better than Kathleen Wynne’s political opportunism. Ontarians deserve honesty, and they deserve a government that shares that priority.”

Joint statement from Ontario NDP Immigration Critic Teresa Armstrong and Community Safety and Corrections Critic Jennifer French regarding federal immigration detainees

 Ontario NDP Immigration Critic Teresa Armstrong, and Community Safety and Corrections Critic Jennifer French issued the following joint statement.

New Democrats support calls on Premier Wynne and her government to request that federal Minister of Public  Safety Ralph Goodale meet personally with the federal immigration detainees currently on hunger strike in provincial jails.    

The Ontario government should not be in the business of immigration detention. Our provincial correctional facilities are already overcrowded and stretched thin. The Province should not be warehousing individuals who the federal government cannot identify or process through the federal immigration system.

We demand that Minister Orazietti act now to do the right thing and ensure that his federal counterpart meet with the detainees in order to avoid a tragedy. 

New Democrats stand with health professionals, civil organizations, and the United Nations who are calling on the federal government to limit immigration detention, to the extent that federal immigration detention continues, to 90 days in keeping with the international standard. 

Going on hunger strike speaks to how desperate these detainees feel. The responsibility for their health falls to the Wynne government. There’s no time to wait. Minister Orazietti and Premier Wynne need to act now, before there’s another death in detention.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Energy, Environment and Climate Change Critic on nuclear safety whistleblower warnings.

Peter Tabuns, Ontario NDP Energy, Environment and Climate Change Critic, issued the following statement regarding nuclear safety whistleblower warnings.

“I am calling on the Premier to call independent review of allegations made by nuclear safety whistleblowers today. This review should be completed by experts with no connection to Ontario’s nuclear industry. 

As of today, the whistleblowers say ‘neither OPG nor the Commission can make an informed decision about the safety of the plant during a refurbishment. Until an independent review is completed, and every step has been taken to ensure the safety of all Ontario’s nuclear reactors, we need to press pause on any work on the Darlington refurbishment.’

Ontarians count on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to ensure nuclear reactors are being operated as safely as possible, but whistleblowers are calling into question whether the commission was forthcoming about risks to the safe operation of the Darlington and Brucereactors.

The letter also says the safety commission cannot evaluate whether Ontario’s Emergency Response Plan is adequate. 

These are major concerns which cannot be ignored. When it comes to Ontario’s nuclear reactors, we can never be too careful. The Premier needs to do what’s right, and call an independent review today.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife on provincial debt comments by Ontario’s FAO

Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife issued a statement regarding  comments on the provincial debt made by Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer.

“The reason the Province’s net debt is increasing is because Kathleen Wynne’s choices are more about politics than about what’s best for Ontarians. The FAO has reported that Kathleen Wynne’s decision to sell Hydro One doesn’t pay for infrastructure, but will actually increase the debt. Instead of asking profitable businesses to pay their fair share, the Liberals have cut Ontario’s corporate tax rate so it’s lower than Alabama’s. It isn’t just that these decisions mean more debt; they have real impacts on people like longer waits in crowded ERs.  Schools and hospitals that need critical repairsare being left to crumble.

Ontarians deserve so much better than Kathleen Wynne’s  short-term, politically-motivated decision-making. They deserve a government with the right priorities, that plans for the future, and is focused on prosperity for all Ontarians.”

Joint Statement by Ontario NDP MPPs Peter Tabuns, France Gélinas, and Sarah Campbell on Grassy Narrows

Joint Statement by Ontario NDP Environment Critic Peter Tabuns, Indigenous Affairs Critic France Gélinas, and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River Sarah Campbell

“In light of the latest revelations that the federal government has been holding on to thirty year-old data that shows the devastating impact of mercury exposure in the development of children of Grassy Narrows, New Democrats call on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to release all health data the government possesses to the people of Grassy Narrows, which they have a right to access.

Serious questions remain about the Ontario government’s claims to transparency and accountability: Was the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care aware of Health Canada reports showing elevated mercury levels in the umbilical cords of babies in Grassy Narrows? If so, then why was this information kept secret? If the Minister was unaware of these studies then how can the Ontario government legitimately claim that it has been monitoring the impact of mercury contamination on the people of Grassy Narrows?

Given the provincial government’s responsibility to the people of Grassy Narrows it’s hard to fathom that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care did not have prior access to this recently released Health Canada information.

Instead of waiting for the next story to detail the unacceptable neglect of the health and well-being of the people of Grassy Narrows, New Democrats call on the Wynne government to fully release all of the information they have about the environmental and health impacts from the mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon River system, and to act immediately to clean up the mess.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife responding to Q1 2016 Economic Accounts

Catherine Fife, Ontario NDP Finance Critic, issued the following statement:

“The Liberal economic plan is out of touch with the realities that too many Ontarians face.

It does nothing to address the silent crisis in our province’s health care system. Their promise is to balance the books by overcrowding our hospitals, firing thousands of healthcare workers, and creating a $3 billion backlog in critical repairs to hospitals. 

The government’s claims of prosperity will do little to comfort the hardworking families who continue to wait to find good, stable jobs across Ontario.

And the story behind their numbers shows that under this Liberal Premier, the number of people working in temporary jobs, without benefits or even sick days, has increased more than twelve times faster than people with stable, permanent jobs. Families are being forced to do more with less and are falling further behind. Precarious employment disproportionately affects women and members of marginalized communities.

Rather than helping to fix these problems by raising the minimum wage to $15/hr and investing in healthcare, education, and job training, Ontarians continue to see more cuts, fewer services, and higher costs for everyday necessities like paying the bills for hydro or car insurance.  

In fact, today’s announcement comes at the same time that some Ontarians learned their auto insurance rates have gone up by much as 3.7%  instead of going down by 15% as the government promised back in 2013.

People deserve so much better than broken promises and ‘stretch goals.’ They deserve a government that will provide real opportunity for every Ontarian.”